Most Expensive Places To Live In Missouri For 2020


We used science and data to determine which cities in Missouri that will put a big dent in your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Missouri.

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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Missouri does this very well. Families love the Show Me State's beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state -- and that's how we're going to help you.

These are the places in Missouri that cost a pretty penny -- the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Missouri for 2020.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Missouri? That would be Sunset Hills.
the 2014-2018 American Community Survey for the 128 places in Missouri with more than 5,000 people.

What's the most expensive place to live in Missouri? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Sunset Hills is the most expensive place to live in Missouri.

So hopefully Bonne Terre (the cheapest place to live in Missouri) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Missouri and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Missouri For 2020

Sunset Hills, MO

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 8,488
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 59.5x (46th most expensive)
More on Sunset Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sunset Hills is a city in St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. The population was 8,496 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Sunset Hills comes in at $98,450 and the median home value is $375,800 for 2020.

Weldon Spring, MO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,545
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 9)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (12th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.9x (44th most expensive)
More on Weldon Spring: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Weldon Spring is a city in St. Charles County, Missouri, United States. The population was 5,443 at the 2010 census. It was the location of the largest World War 2 explosives plant and later a uranium refining faculty.

The median income in Weldon Spring comes in at $102,105 and the median home value is $383,900 for 2020.

University City, MO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 34,653
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.3x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 60.3x (49th most expensive)
More on University City: Real Estate | Data | Photos

University City is an inner-ring suburb of the city of St. Louis in St. Louis County, in the U.S. state of Missouri. The population was 35,371 in 2010 census.

The median income in University City comes in at $60,508 and the median home value is $260,200 for 2020.

Branson, MO

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 11,345
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (11th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 49.8x (13th most expensive)
More on Branson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Branson is a city in Stone and Taney counties in the U.S. state of Missouri. Most of the city is in Taney County, with a small portion in the west extending into Stone County. Branson is in the Ozark Mountains. The community was named after Reuben Branson, postmaster and operator of a general store in the area in the 1880s. The population was 10,520 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Branson comes in at $40,343 and the median home value is $152,000 for 2020.

Columbia, MO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 120,248
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.7x (39th most expensive)
More on Columbia: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Columbia is a city in the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Boone County. Founded in 1821, it is home to the University of Missouri and is the principal city of the Columbia metropolitan area. It is Missouri's fourth most-populous city, with an estimated 120,612 residents in 2016. As a Midwestern college town, the city has a reputation for progressive politics, persuasive journalism, and public art. The tripartite establishment of Stephens College, the University of Missouri, and Columbia College, which surround the city's central business district to the east, south, and north, has made Columbia a center of learning. At the center of Downtown is 8th Street, also known as the Avenue of the Columns, which connects Francis Quadrangle and Jesse Hall to the Boone County Courthouse and the City Hall. Never a major center of manufacturing, the city also depends on healthcare, insurance, and technology businesses. Companies such as Shelter Insurance, Carfax, and Slackers CDs and Games, were founded in the city. Cultural institutions include the State Historical Society of Missouri, the Museum of Art and Archaeology, and the annual True/False Film Festival. The Missouri Tigers, the state's only major college athletic program, play football at Faurot Field and basketball at Mizzou Arena as members of the Southeastern Conference.

The median income in Columbia comes in at $49,277 and the median home value is $185,700 for 2020.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,767
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.5x (16th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.1x (33rd most expensive)
More on St. Robert: Real Estate | Data

The median income in St. Robert comes in at $48,750 and the median home value is $172,400 for 2020.

Maryville, MO

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,771
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.9x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.1x (17th most expensive)
More on Maryville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Maryville is a city and county seat of Nodaway County, Missouri, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 11,972. Maryville is home to Northwest Missouri State University, Northwest Technical School, and the Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing.

The median income in Maryville comes in at $34,308 and the median home value is $134,000 for 2020.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,262
Rank Last Year: 47 (Up 39)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.4x (18th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.9x (32nd most expensive)
More on Waynesville: Real Estate | Data

Waynesville is a city in Pulaski County, Missouri, United States. The population was 4,830 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Pulaski County and is located in the heart of the Missouri Ozarks. It was one of the communities served by historic Route 66.

The median income in Waynesville comes in at $46,907 and the median home value is $161,600 for 2020.

Warrensburg, MO

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 20,025
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.6x (15th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.3x (30th most expensive)
More on Warrensburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Warrensburg is a city in Johnson County, Missouri, United States. The population was 18,838 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Johnson County. The Warrensburg Micropolitan Statistical Area consists of Johnson County. It is home to the University of Central Missouri.

The median income in Warrensburg comes in at $42,325 and the median home value is $151,100 for 2020.

Maplewood, MO

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 8,008
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 9)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.0x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 63.2x (63rd most expensive)
More on Maplewood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Maplewood is an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis, located in St. Louis County. The population was 8,046 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Maplewood comes in at $45,095 and the median home value is $181,100 for 2020.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Show Me State For 2020

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Missouri
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2014-2018 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Missouri to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 128 places in Missouri that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Missouri according to the data is Sunset Hills. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Missouri For 2020

Well there you have it, the places in Missouri that have the highest cost of living, with Sunset Hills ranking as the most expensive city in the Show Me State.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Missouri according to the data:

  1. Bonne Terre
  2. Bowling Green
  3. Macon

For more Missouri reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Missouri

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Sunset Hills 21.33 8,488 3.8x 59.5x
2 Weldon Spring 21.33 5,545 3.8x 58.9x
3 University City 23.33 34,653 4.3x 60.3x
4 Branson 24.67 11,345 3.8x 49.8x
5 Columbia 26.33 120,248 3.8x 57.7x
6 St. Robert 28.67 5,767 3.5x 56.1x
7 Maryville 29.33 11,771 3.9x 53.1x
8 Waynesville 31.0 5,262 3.4x 55.9x
9 Warrensburg 32.0 20,025 3.6x 55.3x
10 Maplewood 33.33 8,008 4.0x 63.2x
11 Rolla 33.33 20,117 3.6x 48.9x
12 St. Louis 34.67 311,273 3.2x 50.7x
13 Ellisville 35.33 9,581 3.2x 62.8x
14 Cape Girardeau 37.33 39,323 3.3x 56.2x
15 Kirksville 37.67 17,483 3.7x 47.1x
16 Harrisonville 37.67 10,023 3.0x 53.3x
17 Clayton 38.33 16,448 6.5x 81.2x
18 Springfield 39.0 166,633 3.2x 48.9x
19 Shrewsbury 39.33 6,166 3.1x 61.7x
20 Olivette 40.67 7,837 3.9x 76.2x
21 Des Peres 40.67 8,567 3.0x 69.9x
22 Sullivan 40.67 6,496 3.2x 44.2x
23 Poplar Bluff 41.0 17,107 3.4x 45.2x
24 Creve Coeur 42.0 18,445 4.0x 83.2x
25 Ladue 43.33 8,586 4.3x 129.2x
26 Town And Country 44.67 11,066 4.1x 159.8x
27 Kansas City 44.67 481,417 2.8x 58.3x
28 Valley Park 46.67 6,832 2.8x 62.0x
29 Brentwood 46.67 8,023 2.8x 64.9x
30 Joplin 46.67 50,073 2.9x 54.6x
31 St. Charles 47.0 69,576 2.9x 67.2x
32 Boonville 48.0 8,410 3.0x 54.8x
33 Webster Groves 48.67 23,029 2.9x 73.6x
34 Richmond Heights 49.33 8,457 3.2x 77.7x
35 Chesterfield 50.0 47,663 3.5x 90.3x
36 Bridgeton 50.0 11,690 2.7x 61.6x
37 Kirkwood 51.33 27,693 3.3x 85.7x
38 De Soto 51.33 6,390 2.8x 53.7x
39 Warrenton 52.33 8,129 2.8x 54.2x
40 Lake St. Louis 54.33 15,646 3.0x 84.8x
41 Parkville 55.33 6,524 3.0x 172.4x
42 Manchester 56.67 18,189 2.8x 78.9x
43 Sikeston 57.33 16,366 3.0x 62.6x
44 Nixa 58.0 21,113 2.8x 64.5x
45 Bolivar 58.67 10,760 2.8x 59.0x
46 Pacific 58.67 6,329 2.9x 67.6x
47 Wildwood 60.0 35,517 2.8x 111.5x
48 Perryville 60.33 8,403 2.9x 63.8x
49 Union 60.67 11,274 2.8x 68.4x
50 Jackson 61.67 14,826 2.8x 69.1x
51 Caruthersville 63.0 5,760 2.8x 50.1x
52 Glendale 63.0 5,888 2.7x 104.6x
53 Ozark 63.0 19,418 2.8x 69.0x
54 Maryland Heights 63.67 27,128 2.5x 63.3x
55 Republic 64.33 16,044 2.6x 61.9x
56 West Plains 64.33 12,222 2.7x 54.8x
57 Washington 65.67 13,987 2.8x 81.0x
58 Farmington 66.0 18,269 2.7x 66.4x
59 Ballwin 66.67 30,332 2.7x 85.2x
60 Lebanon 67.33 14,637 2.6x 56.5x
61 Troy 68.0 11,771 2.7x 68.3x
62 Clinton 68.67 9,107 2.5x 54.4x
63 Jefferson City 68.67 43,013 2.9x 81.9x
64 Hannibal 69.0 17,575 2.6x 58.7x
65 Marshall 69.0 13,001 2.6x 61.1x
66 O'fallon 69.33 86,340 2.5x 80.0x
67 Battlefield 69.67 6,104 2.6x 73.5x
68 Eureka 69.67 10,575 2.6x 94.4x
69 Mexico 70.33 11,544 2.5x 55.5x
70 Arnold 70.33 21,107 2.4x 66.7x
71 Dardenne Prairie 71.0 13,139 2.2x 71.3x
72 Fulton 71.33 12,799 2.8x 71.3x
73 Raymore 71.67 20,743 2.4x 73.7x
74 Crestwood 71.67 11,881 2.5x 84.1x
75 Grandview 72.0 25,174 2.3x 54.7x
76 Sedalia 72.0 21,642 2.4x 53.2x
77 Wentzville 72.0 37,485 2.5x 85.7x
78 Pleasant Hill 72.0 8,418 2.4x 70.0x
79 Marshfield 72.67 7,226 2.8x 68.4x
80 Grain Valley 73.0 13,715 2.4x 69.8x
81 Lee's Summit 74.0 96,325 2.5x 84.1x
82 Kennett 74.67 10,225 2.7x 61.7x
83 Monett 75.0 8,917 2.5x 59.5x
84 Savannah 76.33 5,124 2.4x 62.8x
85 Independence 76.67 117,207 2.2x 57.6x
86 Carthage 76.67 14,690 2.2x 52.8x
87 Dexter 77.33 7,885 2.5x 58.9x
88 Kearney 77.67 9,778 2.2x 75.7x
89 Odessa 77.67 5,189 2.5x 72.8x
90 Liberty 77.67 30,928 2.4x 82.3x
91 Festus 77.67 11,970 2.4x 68.2x
92 Gladstone 78.0 26,995 2.4x 68.5x
93 Greenwood 78.0 6,092 1.8x 63.2x
94 St. Peters 78.67 56,838 2.3x 78.5x
95 Charleston 79.0 5,704 2.2x 47.3x
96 Excelsior Springs 79.0 11,575 2.6x 74.3x
97 Neosho 79.67 12,009 2.3x 57.6x
98 Belton 80.0 23,348 2.1x 62.5x
99 St. Joseph 80.0 76,465 2.3x 62.7x
100 Hazelwood 80.67 25,399 2.2x 61.6x

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.